The Gift of Sight

My pastor once tackled the conversation of why people believe in Christ. He challenged that those that do not accept Jesus Christ as their savior are reducing themselves to mere biology; just another organic life form that is born, consumes, dies, and decays. Where is the meaning in this ideology? I certainly believe that I am more than a mouth-breather and that my proverbial footprint extends beyond my consumption. The gift of sight can be biological, personally subjective, and spiritual. Each person has the gift of sight in this context and it is the free will as a human being to tap into and believe in each one of these forms of sight.

In primary school, children are taught about the function of the human eye by breaking down the individual components of the eyeball and how the human brain transmits what the eye observes. Here is a simplified picture of the way a typical human eye works:

eye1

The optic nerve then transmits the information received by the human eye and sends the information to the human brain for interpretation. Most humans trust what they see with their eyes, but eyes are liars. This famous optical illusion illustrates how eyes trick the brain:

eye2

By studying the image closely, one can determine how the image was drawn, but the brain interprets the image as something that shapeshifts.

Other factors to vision are the wide variations of what a person sees with human eyes. Some common variations are blindness, being nearsighted or farsighted, and being color blind. Humans must rely on more than biology to interpret what they see through their eyes.

As humans use senses to interpret the world around them, their brain catalogues what they see and how they see it. Then the brain interprets those catalogues into experiences. As one grows, they are exposed to more things and they begin to form a unique perspective of what is around them. For example, two people could look at the same thing and see ugliness or beauty at the same time. Why is this? It is because there is more to sight than what is seen with eyes and how the brain interprets this information.

I tend to be a concrete person. Give me evidence, show me how something is possible and probable and I am satisfied. However, with so many variations on the perception and interpretation of what people actually see, the evidence of what something appears to be is highly subjective. In a court of law, a credible witness does not hold the same weight as physical evidence and that is because humans all see things differently.

Seeing the beauty in different perspectives is at the intersection of science and faith. Yes, they can coexist. The science of how the eye works and the perspective of what humans see requires more than just the firing of neurons in the brain. The human soul allows people to understand what their brain perceives to approach the world as they see it. I learn a great deal from the perspective of others and I also invite respectful opposition because I believe that allows me to sharpen the lens I have been given.

As a Christian, I was taught that there is a difference between how I perceive the world and how God wants me to perceive the world. I believe that all humans were created with purpose. I am not here just to live, consume, and die (neither is anyone else). When I was made new and renewed my covenant with Christ, I had a tremendous shift in my perception. I still saw everything with the same biological eyes and the same human perspective, but I was also given the gift of sight. When I focus, I am able to see things the way Christ would and this has made me a kinder, happier, and more accepting person. My human perspective is subjective and it is not always correct. Having the ability to ask for the sight that Christ used, I am able to understand my own faulty logic in my human perspective.

I see things, particularly injustices of the world, with cynical eyes. Through Christ, my cynicism diminishes because I rest in the peace that all things will be sorted out according to His will. What I mean by this is that I can experience things, people, places, and situations that I do not like and I can still be a happy positive person. There are many things that I see that I do not like or care for, but at the end of the day, it is easier to let go of my perception. Every life has meaning and purpose.

So what kind of sight do you have; biological, perspective, or faith? Do you have some combination of sight? I would love to hear from you and where you are in your journey to understanding the world around you.

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